GUTHRIE – Skies are blue, the air is crisp and anticipation is in the air here. Historians say the weather was the same in Guthrie 100 years ago when Oklahoma officially became a state.
The main street through town, Oklahoma Avenue, should be packed with thousands of people tomorrow, as the state rings in its 100th birthday. But, today the streets are deserted, with crews still constructing benches for the parade and large television monitors being installed along the parade route. Signs such as “Impeach Governor Haskell. Keep Guthrie the Capitol” hang on buildings, pointing to a time remembered in the next few days.
Lawmakers are all eating at the Guthrie restaurant, Granny Had One, while I am blogging from the Victorian Tea Room, a quaint restaurant reminiscent of the proper lunches people likely had 100 years ago. A good way to start the day.
After lunch, lawmakers will make the trek to the Masonic Temple for a mock legislative session. Women and men in period dresses and top hats are milling about, waiting for the festivities later this afternoon.
- Jennifer Mock, Capitol Bureau
GUTHRIE – A crowd of about 500 greeted the train. Many wore clothing of 1907.
One group was dressed as members of the Women’s Temperance Union.
They carried signs saying, “Keep Oklahoma Dry,” and “Anti-Saloon League.”
The group chanted, “Say no to demon rum, yes to prohibition.”
“Mayor Chuck Burtcher said, “Remember,
Oklahoma is rising and you are at the launching pad.”
- John Greiner and Brian Sargent, Staff Writers
State Representatives Doug Cox (left) and Phil Richardson, along with his wife Jonalee Richardson, walk through downtown Guthrie Thursday after arriving by train from Oklahoma City. By Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman.
More than 400 people, including Oklahoma legislators, state officials, dignitaries and media members, rode a passenger train – Centennial Express – this morning from Oklahoma City to Guthrie.The train ride launched an historic day in Guthrie, the state’s first state capital and for a short time after statehood.
The 10-car train, provided by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, departed at 10:06 a.m. from the Santa Fe depot in downtown Oklahoma City, reaching a top speed of 55 mph. The train pulled into the Santa Fe depot in Guthrie at 10:51 a.m.
Gov. Brad Henry, first lady Kim Henry and two of their three daughters, Laynie, 14, and Bailey, 8, were the last to board the train in Oklahoma City. Their oldest daughter, Leah, is away at college.
“This is a very, very exciting day,” the governor said. “What better way to learn about history than to re-enact it?”
Conductors on the train wore uniforms much like those worn about 100 years ago.
Larry Dodd of Oklahoma City was one of the conductors.
A longtime employee of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Dodd carried the pocket watch his grandfather got from the railroad, the old Santa Fe Railway, for 46 years of service.
Brian Sargent and John Greiner, Staff Writers